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Rugby Canada Hall of Fame a family affair for hard-nosed forward Hans de Goede

Hans de Goede, a hard-nosed lock forward who captained Canada at the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987, is headed to Rugby Canada's Hall of Fame. 

He will be joined by fellow internationals Mark Wyatt, Scott Stewart and Julie Foster at the March 7 induction ceremony in Vancouver.

At a time when the sport was amateur and Canadian test matches were few and far between, de Goede represented Canada 24 times from 1974 to 1987. One of Canada's first rugby exports, the Dutch-born Victoria native played for famed Cardiff in Wales and was twice named to World XV squads.

After high school, de Goede was invited to the B.C. Lions training camp by then coach Eagle Keys. He spent a week in camp and then told Keys he had to return to Vancouver Island to play in a championship rugby game for James Bay AA. His football career was over. 

On the field, de Goede wassaid to have picked up some extra cash in "So You Think You're Tough?" boxing tournaments.

His fiery demeanour was captured when a TV camera recorded his halftime team talk on the field at the 1987 World Cup against Tonga in Napier, New Zealand.

"Those tackles have to count. They've got to be crunching," an impassioned de Goede told the team huddle. "Everything you do moves forward. You tackle that guy, you're hard as rock and he's going back.

"They've already had two injuries, their No. 8's hurting now, there's other guys out there on that field that are hurting ... so keep punishing them. The more that goes off, the easier our chances are of scoring."

"Come on. You're making history right now," he said in concluding the talk.

Canada, which led 16-0 at halftime, won the game 37-4.

The Rugby Canada Hall of Fame is a family affair for de Goede, whose wife Stephanie White was a member of the class of 2017.

White was skipper of the first Canadian women's rugby team in 1987 and served as co-captain and captain at the 1991 and '94 World Cups, respectively.

Son Thyssen de Goede has represented Canada at the senior level and daughter Sophie de Goede, named U Sports women’s rugby player of the year in 2018, captained the Canadian under-20 team. She was named to the Canadian senior squad in November for a U.K. tour but had to withdraw through injury.

Stewart debuted for Canada as a 20-year-old against the U.S. in 1989 while attending UBC. The Vancouver native went on to win 64 caps and score 84 points, appearing at the 1991, '95 and '99 World Cups before ending his international career against England in 2001.

Although he began his career at fullback and often wore the No. 10 shirt, he appeared across the Canadian backline. Stewart, who also represented Canada in sevens, played club rugby in England for Harlequins in 1997-98 and Bedford Blues in 1999-2000.

A former coach with the Canadian under-21 team and the University of Western Ontario, Stewart has served as head coach of the UCLA Bruins since 2004.

Wyatt was a stylish fly half and fullback who was also an accomplished kicker. Capped in 29 of the 31 matches Canada played between 1982 and 1991, the Victoria native played in the 1987 and '91 World Cups and was Canada's all-time leading scorer with 260 when he retired in 1991.

He played for the Barbarians all-star squad against the North of England in 1988 and against Cardiff and Swansea during their 1991 Easter tour of south Wales.

Wyatt also captained the Canadian sevens team.

Foster earned 44 caps in 15s play from 1996 to 2006, appearing in the 1998, 2002 and '06 World Cups primarily as a winger. She played sevens for Canada from 1997 to 2006.

The Saskatchewan native has held a variety of coaching roles since retiring as a player, currently heading up the University of Regina women's sevens program. Foster also was an accomplished hockey player, representing Hockey Canada in a two-game series against the U.S. in 1993.

The first two induction classes in 2016 and '17 featured Canada captains Al Charron, Mike Luke, Douglas (Buzz) Moore, Rod Snow, Gareth Rees and Spence McTavish as well as women's skippers Maria Gallo, Ruth Hellerud-Brown and White.

Moore also coached the Canadian men's team in 1962.

Former internationals Gillian Florence and Ro Hindson are also in the Hall, alongside former Rugby Canada presidents Monty Heald and Bob Spray and former men's national team coach Ian Birtwell.

Heald and Spray were inducted posthumously.


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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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